Exciting photographic look into 20 remaining USA textile mills. Some in our own backyards! Any fiber person will find these pics stunning and stimulating and artistic. We all love our spool holders, and looking through this NYTimes photo gallery, Fruits of the Loom will bring you industrial size pleasure! Christopher Payne photos
I knit swatches to check my gauge. Sometimes I wash swatch, but mostly not because I plan to unravel and reknit in case my project runs short and I need the yardage. I am buying better, more $$ yarns and I want things to fit. I want shawls to drape, and cowls to have a little more body. I cable up a storm then submerge in Soak bath. My heart sinks as the little orderly knit stitch legs splay and relax to a miscalculated dimention. What to do? My new technique is to but my project in a pillowcase and yes, stick it in the dryer on a delicate to low setting. I stand nearish the drier and wait. I check every 5 minutes and watch the fibers tuck back up to their prewashed springy dimention. Although Pashmina and Rios are labled machine washable with suggested air dry I hand wash and them in the dryer. I watch and check frequently to avoid shrinkage and felting. Remove the project from the heat before completely dry and block or not depending on how mishaped it has become. When I knit Owlie Sleep Sack by Teresa Cole with Malabrigo Rios and hand rinsed it in Soak to release some of the dye and soften it up the sack relaxed to double its size! About 5 minutes in a pillowcase in the dryer popped it back in shape so that therer was dimention again in the cable owls. Twisted Rib Neckwarmer by Michelle Johnston, Blackbun's version and KnittedblissJC's excellent Stockholm pattern both have loads of Ravelry comments about how their beautiful cable cowls have stretched. I am casting on fewer stitches and plan to soften and release dye in a Soak bath and will dry in that pillowcase!
Knit it once, knit it twice. The minute you realize sock #1 isn't what you expected rip it out! Too big? Start over. Toe up and too bunchy? Start over. If you are being honest with yourself you will realize pretty early on that sock #1 isn't perfect. To insure that there WILL be a sock #2, #1 has to be worth repeating. Ask me how I know.
When you knit in public you can count me spying on your project, checking out your pattern, yarn and your ablility. I can't help myself. Some people will bend over and pet your dog, I count stitches. A very elegant woman was knitting this involved cardigan in the park. She explained she knit body top sleeve to sleeve with a cable and lace pattern. She picked up stitches for the mid sweater with a rib stitch which was brilliant because it pulled in the sweater to make it fitted to the body. Below the few inches of ribbing she knit out looser into a slight peplum. I commented that the peplum mimiked the design of the flared sleeves and she seemed please that I caught her design intention. She then told me that she couldn't find the yarn color she wanted so she bought a Goodwill sweater and washed and unraveled it! Who does that? Repurposing is excellent. Things should be handed down, passed around and kept out of the landfill. But yarn? No. I want my yarn springy with lots of body and life left, especially for garment knitting. I like to enjoy the yarn running through my fingers for hours and hours as I knit and I want my projects to endure the wear and tear I give it. Skimp on yarn? NEVER! You will never regret breaking the bank for good quality yarn.
Some people don't like knitting the same project more than once, which explains the one sock phenomenon. I do. I like to see the same pattern knit a little more custom fit to my liking. I like to see the pattern in different yarns. A pattern like Niamath's Wisp (knitty, ravelry) does look great in Kidsilk Haze, and now I am knitting one in turquoise beaded Tili Symphony -http://www.tillitomas.com/ Here is my Wrap by Cocoknits. Wonder what yarn I will use for the next one?
I do love Ravelry. I check the new projects several times a day. I also look at the pattern tester's group, although I have never offered to knit a sample. Before I buy yarn I have never used before I check to see what comments people have posted. I like to see what itches, what pills, and what bleeds. I also check to see who made what with the new yarns I have bought. I just invested in some Tillie yarns using a birthday discount, which brought the price down from super-high, to enjoying it luxury. It is satisfying to see how others have used it and it saves me from making mistakes. Yay, Ravelry! I am glad to see it getting credit for being wonderful. Here are some of my projects!
Every knitter has to make one. Everyone who lives in or passes through NY should visit the Habu studio. Sure, this is an endless knit.Sure knitting with stainless steel and thin thin yarn is awkward and the needle size changes... Put that all aside, but on your reading glasses and knit, knit, knit. When you are finally finished you will be proud of your architectural, pliable, can't pick wrong colors delight! On Ravelry, I am the 666th person to post my Kusha Kusha scarf. This has to be lucky, right?
Wisp on Knitty is fun and easy. I never thought I couldn't handle mohair but there are more and more mohairs out there that are a little softer than the Rowan Kidsilk Night I used for my first. People comment on how complicated the pattern is but it isn't. Wisp is easy and fun. I am on a mohair kick now. I used Luna from S. Charles used for the Everyday Wrap from Cocoknits, and while it is a similar mohair blend as The KSH, it is much softer.